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Cross Border Employer Blog

In the United States, the debate over protections for transgender employees continues, even as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, some courts, and the U.S. Justice Department take the position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act provides employment protection for transgender employees on a national level.  In addition, many states, counties and municipalities have enacted their own laws protecting transgender employees in the workplace.  Although many countries outside of the United States do not prohibit discrimination against transgender employees, U.S. citizens living and working overseas may be protected under U.S. law from transgender discrimination and harassment, and U.S. employers may also have a duty to protect transgender employees traveling on company business from violence and harassment in the host country.

So your company is expanding and, for the first time, and you’ll be sending key employees abroad to work in other markets. While the opportunities for expansion may appear limitless, so is your potential liability for failing to protect your employees from the myriad problems they may face while traveling on business. While some risks may appear obvious, such as the Ebola virus in West Africa, or kidnapping in Syria or fighting in Ukraine, there are other, less obvious risks such as an employee falling in the shower or suffering from a poisonous insect bite. In addition to personal safety risks, your employee could face border hassles or even detention for failing to have the proper travel documents, vaccinations or visas. As an employer, you have a legal and moral duty to protect employees from harm while traveling for business. A little advance planning can help you avoid or mitigate any emergencies that might occur.

This article is the second in a series addressing employer considerations when beginning or acquiring cross-border operations.

In most U.S. states employers are free to bind employees with restrictive covenants – which commonly take the form of post-employment restrictions on soliciting clients or employees – as a condition of employment. The wide acceptance of such restrictions in the U.S. does not necessarily translate to other countries ...

Many U.S.-based employers perform pre-employment, post-accident, or random drug testing, and with some exceptions, are generally permitted wide latitude in deciding when to conduct such tests. The U.S. attitude toward drug testing does not necessarily translate to other countries, however, where there may be different attitudes toward employee privacy, in particular. U.S.-based employers can run into trouble when attempting to impose those ...

Last month, the Canadian Province of Manitoba enacted privacy legislation governing the collection, use and dissemination of personal information, including employee personal information. With the legislation, Manitoba joins the other Canadian Provinces of Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia in providing special protection for employee personal data. Private-sector employers with operations in Manitoba should ensure their data ...

When is the last time your company reviewed its data protection policies? If your company employs any international employees, it may have obligations under foreign laws to have specific safeguards in place. Failure to observe a jurisdiction’s data protection laws can result in staff penalties and unwelcome press coverage. Although the European Union is leading the way with a proposed comprehensive new data protection law, other countries from ...

Last week’s resignation of Bulgaria’s government highlights the economic and political struggles plaguing Europe’s eastern flank, and the risks for investors and companies looking to do business in emerging economies. Unemployment in the eastern European countries is generally high, and recent data show no relief is in sight. Making matters worse, the austerity programs put in place to woo foreign investment have led to social unrest, such ...

Since its declaration of independence in 1991, which precipitated the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Croatia has had a difficult path transitioning to a market economy. Now, Croatia is set to become the newest member of the European Union in July 2013, provided its accession treaty is ratified by the other 27 member countries. As part of Yugoslavia prior to 1991, about three-quarters of Croatia’s labor force was employed in the public sector, largely ...

Ukraine, which has been independent from the Soviet Union since 1991, is the second largest contiguous country in Europe. Since 1991, Ukraine has been transitioning to a market economy, although progress has been slow, and was further delayed by the global recession in 2008. Nevertheless, Ukraine is an important consumer and supplier in the global market, and is strategically located in eastern Europe, bordering the Russian Federation, Belarus ...

This is the sixth article in a series about Central and East European employment law issues.

Since 1990, Poland has been steadily transitioning to a liberalized economy, and although progress has been rocky at times, Poland stands out as a bright spot among its fellow transitional economies. Poland still struggles with rigid labor and employment laws, low-level corruption, and creaky infrastructure, but boasts an educated workforce, and according ...

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